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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service May/June 2014 | Vol 11, No 3 RefugeUpdate National Wildlife Refuge System INSIDE: Just by eating grasses and forbs, spreading seeds via their digestive tracts, and disturbing and aerating the soil, bison are naturally and steadily restoring native prairie habitat at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. See Focus section, beginning on page 8. (© Peter Eades) Fish and Wildlife Service to Fund 17 Species-Recovery Projects on Refuges By Susan Morse T o speed wildlife recovery and perhaps avert extinctions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award $5.8 million to 17 projects to recover threatened or endangered species on or near national wildlife refuges. Target species include whooping crane, Karner blue butterfly and Attwater’s prairie chicken. Plan Completed To Enhance Hunting, Fishing H unting and fishing have a rich tradition in the United States – one that will become richer still as the Conserving the Future Hunting and Fishing strategic plan is implemented. One beneficiary of 2013 funding – the Oregon chub – has recovered so well that in February the Service proposed removing the small fish from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife under the Endangered Species Act. If the action is finalized, the chub would be the first fish delisted with the help of this initiative. The plan was finalized in late March in response to the Conserving the Future Recommendation 17, which called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state and fish wildlife agencies to work cooperatively to increase quality hunting and fishing opportunities on national wildlife refuges. As in 2013, funding will draw from several Service programs, including the Refuge System; Endangered Species; Partners for Fish and Wildlife; Fish and Aquatic Conservation; and the Science program. Projects include: “The best relationships come from investment of time and energy with our partners,” reads the plan. The efforts are part of the Service’s Cooperative Recovery Initiative, begun in 2013 with $4.3 million in funding to 10 projects. Alaska: Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. 1) Expand nest surveys for the spectacled eider, an endangered sea duck, to more reliably gauge population size. continued on pg 18 Focus: Habitat Restoration, pages 8-15 continued on pg 14

Refuge Update May/June 2014

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